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Intel Releases 4004 Microprocessor Schematics

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the 2,300-transistors-and-nothin'-on dept.

174

mcpublic writes, "Intel is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Intel 4004, their very first microprocessor, by releasing the chip's schematics, maskworks, and users manual. This historic revelation was championed by Tim McNerney, who designed the Intel Museum's newest interactive exhibit. Opening on November 15th, the exhibit will feature a fully functional, 130x scale replica of the 4004 microprocessor running the very first software written for the 4004. To create a giant Busicom 141-PF calculator for the museum, 'digital archaeologists' first had to reverse-engineer the 4004 schematics and the Busicom software. Their re-drawn and verified schematics plus an animated 4004 simulator written in Java are available at the team's unofficial 4004 web site. Digital copies of the original Intel engineering documents are available by request from the Intel Corporate Archives. Intel first announced their 2,300-transistor 'micro-programmable computer on a chip' in Electronic News on November 15, 1971, proclaiming 'a new era of integrated electronics.' Who would have guessed how right they would prove to be?"

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Heh (3, Funny)

Mitchell Mebane (594797) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848446)

At first, I thought this was about Intel's new quad-core processors. How wrong I was. :P

Wouldn't it be cool, though, if Intel did name the quad-core chips the 4004 series?

Mod parent down (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16848656)

FP won't get you karma. Feeble attempt at that.

Re:Mod parent down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16848698)

Looks like somebody's just jealous they didn't make FP.

Re:Mod parent down (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16848802)

Looks like somebody's just jealous they didn't make FP.
Quit being an idiot and making FP's like this, dude. Either troll or say something that is worth saying.

Re:Mod parent down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16848984)

You are a spineless, soulless, slimy, worthless shell of a human being. You make me sick. Consider posting something worthwhile, yourself.

Does it run Linux? (2, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848448)

With a better FPU and a faster front-side bus, that chip could possibly be useful.

As it is, I don't think it can even run a stripped down 1.0 Linux kernel.

how about minix ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16848560)

could it run minix?

m10

Re:how about minix ? (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848742)

It couldn't run Minix, and it would be quite hard to port Minix to it. It already runs on 8086 CPUs, so it doesn't need an MMU (or an FPU). Originally it came with 40-bytes of RAM, which is certainly not enough for Minix. It supports 12-bit addressing though, so you can address 4K-words. Unfortunately, the word size is 4-bits, so that means you can only address 2KB of RAM, which is definitely not enough for Minix. For reference, Bash is about 284 times bigger than the entire address space of the 4004. If you tied it with a custom MMU chip, you could possibly extend this to 4096 segments of 4096 words, giving you 8MB of total address space. This would be enough for Minix, but you'd need to do a lot of paging, which would slow down the performance of the 4004 chip a lot. It would probably boot in under a week...

Re:how about minix ? (3, Funny)

Amadodd (620353) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849478)

Operating systems are for sissies.

Re:how about minix ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16849642)

Yeah. This thing could hardly run anything. I wouldn't say it was exactly "a new era of integrated electronics" just yet. Same can be said of the 4040, 8008, and also of the 8080 & 8085 to some extent.

I've NEVER seen anything made from this chip (the 4004). It looks about as powerful as a entry level PIC chip or something. Things *REALLY* took off with the 8086/8088 and other CPUs of the time (Z80, 6502, MC680x series, etc), which we've seen in many computers and even game consoles (virtually everybody knows products made from these). Most of these chips came out around 1975.

Re:Does it run Linux? (5, Funny)

gadzook33 (740455) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848578)

No, no, it's fine. You just need to cross compile with ARCH=4004; OPTIMIZE_FOR_CPU=4004; STRIP_EVERYTHING_EXCEPT_RESET_INCLUDING_THE_KERNEL =true.

Re:Does it run Linux? (5, Funny)

mode13 (1023713) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849284)

I can see it now:

From forums.gentoo.org / Architectures & Platforms / Gentoo on 4004 ...

Yea, I just did a stage 1 install, it took 12865 hours but the binaries are TOTALLY optimized!

Re:Does it run Linux? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16849068)

Try it out! The Java simulator on modern hardware should simulate it almost as fast as it ran 35 years ago in silicon.

Try Debian (4, Funny)

The_Abortionist (930834) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849212)

Debian will probably catch up to it in a year or two.

Re:Does it run Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16849240)

It doesn't need to. If you want to run Linux, you can go pick almost any processor from the past ten years out of the trash. However, I'm pretty sure it will run one of the original Unix's, since they were around at the time (circa 1971).

  http://lyricslist.com/ [lyricslist.com]

Re:Does it run Linux? (1)

tokul (682258) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849562)

Here's a nickel, kid. Go buy yourself a real computer.

math-emu source [uni-potsdam.de] :)

Re:Does it run Linux? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16850384)

if you coupled it with a modern graphics card you should be able to use the 4004 to bootstrap linux into the graphics card and run it from there!

The days of the Nibble... (2, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848462)

I can't say I miss the days of the nibble and CPUs measured in kilohertz.

Re:The days of the Nibble... (3, Insightful)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848590)

I do, because back then bloatware wasn't an option.

Re:The days of the Nibble... (2, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848648)

Sure there was bloatware -- so people upgraded to the 8080.

Zzzz (4, Funny)

KNicolson (147698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848464)

Get back to me once you've ported Linux to it.

And imagine OGG supporting a Beowolf cluster of them in Soviet Russia.

Re:Zzzz (2, Funny)

jpardey (569633) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848476)

I can imagine that one would... profit!

Re:Zzzz (4, Funny)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848488)

Get back to me once you've ported Linux to it.

And imagine OGG supporting a Beowolf cluster of them in Soviet Russia.


Well, Belgium! You had to go and use up most of the old standbys yourself. But you missed at least one...

I, for one, welcome our 4 bit overlords.

Re:Zzzz (1)

McWilde (643703) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849844)

"Belgium"? I think you've been reading the wrong edition of the Guide...

Re:Zzzz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16849244)

In Sovjet Russia, the OGG supported beowolf cluster of overlords welcomes you, and the goggles do nothing!

Captcha: "Impress". Yes I will try to.

Fast-forward (2, Insightful)

jmv (93421) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848500)

Who would have guessed how right they would prove to be?

Who would have guessed chips produced 35 years later, would still inherit the brain-damaged ISA of the 4004. (OK, so the ISA probably didn't look too bad when it was for the 4004)

Re:Fast-forward (2, Informative)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848574)

Actually, they're not the same. The 4004 has 46 instructions [pldos.pl] . The 8086 [wikipedia.org] has quite a bit more instructions and pretty much started us all on the x86 ISA, which weren't binary compatible with programs written for Intel's earlier processors.

Re:Fast-forward (1)

zzatz (965857) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848678)

All but one of the 8080 instructions map directly into an equivalent 8086 instruction, althought the binary representation differs. This allowed Intel to sell a translation program that would convert your 8080 CP/M program into an 8086 DOS program. So ISA does have a connection back as far as the 8080.

I don't remember the relationship of the 8080 to the 8008.

Re:Fast-forward (5, Interesting)

jmv (93421) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848684)

While not binary compatible, the 8086 [wikipedia.org] was a 16-bit improvement of the 8-bit 8080 [wikipedia.org] , which was compatible with the 8008 [wikipedia.org] , which AFAIK wasn't too far from the 4-bit 4040 [wikipedia.org] and the 4004 [wikipedia.org] ... and that's why the space shuttle's boosters are sized according to a horse's rear end [astrodigital.org] and a 64-bit quad core CPU architecture that is influenced by the first 4-bit microcontroller.

Fast-forward-PBS connections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16848784)

That thing about the shuttle boosters would have been perfect for "connections". Which was a PBS program about connections between two seemingly disparete items

Railroad gauges (2, Informative)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848878)

Snopes says not quite [snopes.com] . Though the lesson of the story is true and profound.

Re:Railroad gauges (5, Informative)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849654)

I really rather disagree with their conclusion. Although it was not "inevitable" the fact of the matter is that the rail road gauge that became dominant in the USA and Europe CAN be traced to the one adapted for rail use from carriages designed to fit on roads built to a standard specified originally by the Roman Legions based on the width of the asses of two standard war horses. That this is merely coincidental doesn't make it any less true, or less telling about the nature of beaurocracy and resistance to change. And the fact of the matter is that the standard does continue to affect rail shipping to this day, as it most definately determines what an oversize rail car or load is. Whether or not this actually had a direct impact on the Space Shuttle's SSRB's is less clear, although certainly they had to be designed so that they could be shipped from the factory to Cape Canaveral.

The thrust of the point to me, is the very point that nobody sat around and actually considered what might be a good rail gauge to adopt for shipping lines, they just went ahead with a horribly odd standard that was already in existence.

Re:Railroad gauges (3, Informative)

johnw (3725) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849734)

The thrust of the point to me, is the very point that nobody sat around and actually considered what might be a good rail gauge to adopt for shipping lines

One man did. Isambard Kingdom Brunel did exactly that. He sat down and thought about what gauge to make his railway (The Great Western) and came up with 7 feet as a much more sensible value. He was entirely correct, but unfortunately his version was abandoned simply because far more people had used the existing default.

John

Re:Railroad gauges (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 7 years ago | (#16850016)

Keep in mind that the gague of the railroad has a strong influence on how tight you can have a turn radius when bending track. Larger gague tracks simply require much more room to turn. Over flat prarie and meadows this isn't that big of a deal, but when you get into mountains or along a sea coast it becomes a huge deal.

For this reason alone, many of the mining railroads actually use a standard "narrow gague" for their tracks (and even a "cog" railroad to overcome the steep slope of the tracks). There is less room to turn for things like a switchback track, so therefore they need a narrower gague of track.

The point here is that the "standard gague" was something that came about through years of experience of having to deal with a large number of factors, which met the compromise from all of the competing problems. If 7 feet really were that much better, it certainly would have been used more often.

Re:Railroad gauges (2, Informative)

rufty_tufty (888596) | more than 7 years ago | (#16850068)

Not quite:
Such a wide guage had a number of problems; namly its ability to turn corners fast (not much use for the north of england which is reasonably hilly and used for much of the frieght at the time because of the industry around there) and the difficulty of operating points on such a system. Not that these problems weren't solvable, but like all things in enginerring it's a compromise to best fit your current problem.

Re:Fast-forward (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848938)

While not binary compatible, the 8086 was a 16-bit improvement of the 8-bit 8080, which was compatible with the 8008, which AFAIK wasn't too far from the 4-bit 4040 and the 4004

Indeed. Does this instruction ring a bell? Decimal adjust accumulator DAA [pldos.pl]

Re:Fast-forward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16849200)

Blech, yes. I wrote my z80 assembler in nasm once, and daa gave me major grief. The z80 implementation of DAA differed from the 8080 (and the 4004 by the looks of it) in-so-far as it used a flag to automatically switch between adjust after add and adjust after sub variants (x86 has these as two separate ops). And just for fun there were other undocumented incompatible "special cases" that made the obvious code a-functional. In the end I gave up trying to do things right and went with a big-ass lookup table generated on a genuine z80. Why the x86 couldn't get the flags register right for this I do not know.

Re:Fast-forward (1)

mrogers (85392) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849900)

Also, birds are lizards with wings, snakes are lizards without legs, and people are big colonies of cooperating bacteria. Nature prefers a hack.

Re:Fast-forward (1, Informative)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848610)

Who would have guessed chips produced 35 years later, would still inherit the brain-damaged ISA of the 4004

Didn't ISA come out with the IBM using the 8086? The 4004 was more suited to things like a calculator.

I did look it up.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industry_Standard_Arc hitecture [wikipedia.org]

IBM PC XT ISA = Industry Standard Architecture released in 1981.

The Intel 4004 processor was first fabricated in 1971 a decade before the ISA buss.

http://www.intel4004.com/ [intel4004.com]

Please don't re-write history. Blame IBM for ISA, not Intel.

Re:Fast-forward (2, Informative)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848652)

ISA has many meanings

ISA - Instruction Set Architecture

There are others of course, but I just don't see how the Irish Sailing Association is relevant here.

Re:Fast-forward (4, Informative)

Mitchell Mebane (594797) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848658)

ISA, as in "Instruction Set Architecture". Not the bus.

Re:Fast-forward (1)

ThJ (641955) | more than 7 years ago | (#16850134)

Should I feel smarter for, while not understanding what ISA stood for, realizing that it wasn't the bus he was talking about? :D

4004 tic tac toe (5, Interesting)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848502)

The 4004 tic tac toe hardware from their unofficial site looks wicked ... http://mywebpages.comcast.net/jsweinrich/ [comcast.net] . I never thought I'd be drooling over electronic tic tac toe!

Not to bust this guy's work, but... (1)

voidptr (609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848818)

The 4004 has less than 2300 transistors, the lowest end Spartan FPGA (since I don't see the exact part # on there) is 40,000 gates (which is somewhere in the neighborhood of 160,000 transistors).

You could do TTT in the FPGA on that board with room to spare. You could probably re-implement the 4004 ISA itself and his glue logic inside that FPGA.

Re:Not to bust this guy's work, but... (1)

dextromulous (627459) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849160)

The 4004 has less than 2300 transistors, the lowest end Spartan FPGA (since I don't see the exact part # on there) is 40,000 gates (which is somewhere in the neighborhood of 160,000 transistors).

<nitpicks>
FPGAs mainly use LUTs (LookUp Tables) to simulate "equivalent gates." There is also no concrete method of converting "equivalent gates" to a transistor count (LUTs are often combined with other things inside of a logic block.)
</nitpicks>

Nitpicks aside, you could easily put a 4004 in a modern FPGA. However, it would not look nearly as cool as that gold-on-white ceramic 4004 package with the "visible traces."

Re:4004 tic tac toe (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849348)

Tic tac toe? A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.

640k (3, Funny)

Aehgts (972561) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848522)

Ah, back in the good old days when 640K _was_ enough for anyone...

Re:640k (5, Interesting)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848600)

Ah, back in the good old days when 640K _was_ enough for anyone...

Dude, my first computer had 256 Bytes (not K -- *BYTES*) of memory (Built form the September 1976 issue of Popular Electronics -- Build Your Own Microcomputer, based on the COSMAC 1802 processor). 640K was beyond freaking imagination.

Re:640k (1)

Aehgts (972561) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848686)

My first computer was an XT 8086. but then I wasn't born till 1984, almost a decade after you built your own... kudos!

Re:640k (2, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848752)

Offtopic but I heard Weirld Al sing in New York a few years ago with the parody turkey on rye (Or pastrami). Now chicken pot pie. You may want to search for that song instead.

000640 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16849016)

"Dude, my first computer had 256 Bytes (not K -- *BYTES*) of memory (Built form the September 1976 issue of Popular Electronics -- Build Your Own Microcomputer, based on the COSMAC 1802 processor). 640K was beyond freaking imagination."

Pfft! Youngsters. I had to wire-wrap my own tubes and hand-spin the drum

Re:640k (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849100)

Ah, back in the good old days when 640K _was_ enough for anyone...

Dude, my first computer had 256 Bytes (not K -- *BYTES*) of memory (Built form the September 1976 issue of Popular Electronics -- Build Your Own Microcomputer, based on the COSMAC 1802 processor). 640K was beyond freaking imagination.

Yep. And the computer that controlled the Apollo spacecraft (designed while Billy Boy was still in single digit years), wasn't much better than your homebrew (around 8K IIRC). The fire control system I worked on in the Navy (I was in over the eighties, the system was designed in the seventies) controlled sixteen missiles (each with eight warheads) using around 512K.
 
Fact is - most folks (including programmers) forget, or never knew in the first place, how much can be done with quite little. Cheap memory, fast processors, and cheap hard drives encourage sloppy habits.

Re:640k (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849526)

Yep. And the computer that controlled the Apollo spacecraft (designed while Billy Boy was still in single digit years), wasn't much better than your homebrew (around 8K IIRC).

According to the Apollo 15 ALSJ the descent guidance system had a five vector model of the terrain around the landing site.

Re:640k (1)

hughk (248126) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849248)

The 1802 was designed 'down' as a controller for unfriendly environments such as space. It was also completely CMOS so used very little power. Although the instruction set was 'quirky', the processor was quite important becuase of the applications. Of course, the 4004 and later the 4040 were 'made' by washing-machines. That is to say if you build something cheap enough to replace the elctromechanical mechanisms (drum-timers) in domestic equipment - such as washing machines then your market is huge.

Re:640k (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849766)

>640K was beyond freaking imagination.
When I got my 48k Atari 400 back in early 1981, I couldn't get my head around how vast 48k was so I typed in 48k of rem statements then hit 'list' to watch it scroll by. Took quite a long time. I remember thinking 'Wow, so much space! I could do anything with that amount of data/program'
It also hurt my fingertips due to the 400's touch sensitive keyboard.

Re:640k (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848870)

640KB would have been a luxury. The 4004 had a 12-bit address bus, and so it could address 4K-words. Each machine word was 4-bits long, so it could address 2KB of RAM. This wasn't a huge limitation, since it only shipped with 40 bytes of RAM, and no MMU.

Re:640k (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848904)

Considering my first computer had 2K of RAM, I would consider 640K very nice.
And yes, it was based on Z80.

a bit of relevant info.... (3, Informative)

frakir (760204) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848606)

pasted from http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/4004/index.html [slashdot.org] > :

The first microprocessor in history, Intel 4004 was a 4-bit CPU designed for usage in calculators, or, as we say now, designed for "embedded applications". Clocked at 740 KHz, the 4004 executed up to 92,000 single word instructions per second, could access 4 KB of program memory and 640 bytes of RAM. Although the Intel 4004 was perfect fit for calculators and similar applications it was not very suitable for microcomputer use due to its somewhat limited architecture. The 4004 lacked interrupt support, had only 3-level deep stack, and used complicated method of accessing the RAM. Some of these shortcomings were fixed in the 4004 successor - Intel 4040.

Re:a bit of relevant info.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16848806)

I believe Intel design, due to their early success, stressed backward compatibility - funny that they are in bed with Microsoft with a similar design philosophy.

Anyway, I wonder how much of the 4004 instruction set, if any, remains in Core Duo Double Pro Extreme 2 Duo Dual Core 4X4? Or does it stretch back only to 8080?

Re:a bit of relevant info.... (1)

leob (154345) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849568)

I've asked that question Monday night diring the anniversary meeting at the Computer History Museum. They said "none", then, jokinly, "NOP". I haven't verified, but I believe their first answer was right.

More Relevant Info? (2, Interesting)

octalman (169480) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848866)

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but as I recall the 4004 wasn't a single-chip microprocessor. Depending on the chip set used, it took from two to four chips to put together a working microprocessor.
 
Intel's first shur-nuff single-chip microprocessor was the gosh-awful, horribly slow 8008. They took so long to get past the 8008 and the only marginally better 8080 that Zilog brought out a much-improved, instruction set compatible version, the Z80, which dominated the microprocessor market for a number of years.
 
The first true computer-on-a-chip was Motorola's 6800, but they muffed their opportunity by waiting too long to market it and priced it too high. Worse, some employees stole their chip masks and modified the design, which they sold (cheaply, compared to the 8008 and 6800) as the 6502, which was adopted for the Apple. Motorola sued and got the 6502, which they continued to sell, but lost years of opportunity and the chance to dominate the whole market.

Re:More Relevant Info? (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849218)

Sorry, you're wrong. The 4004 was a single chip. You're thinking of the 1800 and 1801 chips from RCA which when put together formed a single processor. They were used famously on the Voyager spacecraft, and are pretty much impossible to find on Earth today. I don't think that any examples of the chip still exist on the planet.

The 1802 processor, used in the COSMAC ELF computer and manufactured in the millions was equivalent to the 1800 and 1801, except on one chip.

Re:More Relevant Info? (3, Informative)

turly (992736) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849416)

Dunno what you're smoking, fella, but Motorola never "got" the 6502. From this article [wikipedia.org] :

The 6502 was designed primarily by the same engineering team that had designed the Motorola 6800. After quitting Motorola en masse, they quickly designed the 6501, a completely new processor that was pin-compatible with the 6800 (that is, it could be plugged into motherboards designed for the Motorola processor, although its instruction set was different). Motorola sued immediately, and MOS agreed to stop producing the 6501 and went back to the drawing board.

The result was the "lawsuit-compatible" 6502, which was by design unusable in a 6800 motherboard; Motorola dropped their objection.
...
The 6502 was introduced at $25 in September 1975, when the 6800 and Intel 8080 were selling for $179. At first many people thought the new chip's price was a hoax or a mistake, but shortly both Motorola and Intel had dropped their chips to $79. Far from the intended result, these price reductions actually legitimized the 6502, which started selling by the hundreds.

Re:More Relevant Info? (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 7 years ago | (#16850206)

Indeed - you can still buy a plain, newly manufactured Z80 processor today. It's still popular in embedded applications. There's also a microcontroller version of the Z80, the eZ80.

Re:More Relevant Info? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 7 years ago | (#16850280)

> Depending on the chip set used, it took from two to four chips to put together a working microprocessor.

That's the way I remember it too. I seem to recall (at least) something about a multi-phased clock, and an address decoder thingie. I still have Intel databooks from that era, but I'm too lazy to look it up.

Back in 1979/80 or so, I worked on readying for manufacture a prototype slot machine that Harrah's Casinos (there were only two then, Reno & Tahoe) had built using the 4004. Intel had quit making the 4004 by then, so the choice came down to buying the remaining supply, or do it over using a "real" (Z80) processor. The project never really got off the ground.

Digital archaeologists (2, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848620)

wipe wipe
"early gang bang porn, log it"
wipe wipe
"early vivid movie, looks like Jemma was young and need the money, log it"
wipe wipe
"some girl on girl stuff, log it" wipe wipe
"holy crap I am taking this home"

Re:Digital archaeologists (5, Funny)

msobkow (48369) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848778)

Before DivX pr0n there was MJPEG pr0n.

Before MJPEG pr0n there was JPEG pr0n.

Before JPEG pr0n there was bitmap pr0n.

Before bitmap pr0n there was ASCII art pr0n.

Before that, some weirdo was convinced that two LED's looked like nipples...

*g*

Re:Digital archaeologists (1)

jpardey (569633) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848820)

Before that... PAPER! Oh the humanity!

Re:Digital archaeologists (1)

SleepyHappyDoc (813919) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849126)

Before that, people actually had sex.

I sure am glad we got out of the dark ages.

Don't forget punch cards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16849388)

"Ooo, Check out the hanging chad on that one!"

Er, I guess it worked better for gay porn.

I'll shut up now...

Re:Digital archaeologists (1)

earthman (12244) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849458)

You forgot the GIF porn.

Reverse Engineer? (1)

mogwai7 (704419) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848634)

Can you really call it reverse engineering if you got the schematics?

Re:Reverse Engineer? (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848746)

Depends on the quality of the schematics... :p

Re:Reverse Engineer? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16848828)

Yes, because in 'forward' engineering, you know what you want the product to do, and design the schematics for the chip accordingly. In reverse engineering, in this case, you start with the schematics and determine how exactly it does what it does.

My background's limited to a couple simple electronics courses, but hopefully my point's clear...

The chip's schematic, in a way, does 'show' how everything's achieved, but I would presume this is more complicated than a simple 'battery, switch, light bulb' schematic from a fifth grade science project; which could be reverse engineered without even consciously applying any thought to it! I can only imagine how complex it would be be to analyze this schematic to the point that you understand exactly how and why it's doing what it's doing for any given 'computation' or process...

Re:Reverse Engineer? (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 7 years ago | (#16850100)

It isn't that hard. You start by grouping things into functional units and move to higher levels of abstraction. What can be tricky are any weird and unique circuits. There is quite a bit of structure in the design. What's time consuming is examining the behavior of the instruction decoder for all possible instructions. This can be a problem if you don't have a list of the supported instruction set. On many old processors, there was no trap for illegal or unimplemented instructions. The processor would do something, although it might not be useful.

Re:Reverse Engineer? (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848888)

Yes. You see, the original schematics were stored as an EBCDIC art file on punch cards. The chip design itself is remarkable, as it was to be the first chip built with sub-miniature vacuum tubes.

Jon Katz could write about it (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848710)

This will cause a social revolution in Afghanistan. People will now be able to build their own 4004-based, and use them to download movies and MP3s against the will of the Taliban...

Re:Jon Katz could write about it (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849168)

This will cause a social revolution in Afghanistan. People will now be able to build their own 4004-based, and use them to download movies and MP3s against the will of the Taliban...

At first I thought this was a silly idea, until I realized that women are so covered up there that 16-by-16 bit porn may be a step up.
         

Re:Jon Katz could write about it (1)

o'reor (581921) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849750)

Come to think about it, 16x16 pixels is probably the resolution with which you see the world at through the mesh of a burqa.

Somehow this thread is on its way to reach the Allahwin point...

Era of Intel's Ways (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848714)

Intel patented the 4004, which they tried to use to enforce a patent on the "microprocessor" generally - though Gilbert Hyatt [thocp.net] eventually won it, 20 years later.

Does Intel still have a working patent protecting the 4004? And doesn't that patent include the schematics? What's the point of patenting an invention if other inventors can't tell whether they're reinventing what you've protected from "infringement"?

Re:Era of Intel's Ways (1)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848764)

Well, you want a patent to be enforceable agaist others. So either you patent the entire microprocessor concept, or you patent one small invention that all microprocessors need to use. Intel probably patented the binary adder or something.

Re:Era of Intel's Ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16848816)

A patent doesn't mean its a secret. In fact it's widely available public knowledge at that point. It just means others can't legally infinge on that patent without permission from the patent holder.

That is why some companies actually won't patent something right away. They will carefuly document and date the records related to the patentable work, but keep the information a closely guarded secret until absolutely necessary. Then bust out the documents to back themselves up either when someone else tries to patent it or when the information is about to be released anyway as part of a product launch.

That way a company can get a big enough lead on the competition that others could not develop competing technologies in time without licensing the patent or the patent holder can enjoy a prolonged competitive advantage before or even without disclosing any trade secrets.

Re:Era of Intel's Ways (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848862)

That's what I said.

Though your story about documenting/dating work prior to filing a patent is wrong. Only if that documentation is either published or entered in certified notebooks obtained in advance from the PTO can the work prior to filing be counted as prior art defending from a later filing (but earlier than one's own filing).

Trade secrets are unnecessary when that info is patented. That's the entire point of a patent.

Re:Era of Intel's Ways (1)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 7 years ago | (#16850256)

...Does Intel still have a working patent protecting the 4004?...
Hardly since patents are for a limited time only and at that time I think the time was 17 years from the patent being granted.

Although an important starting point (1)

stox (131684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16848720)

The 8008 was the real start of the micro-computing revolution. The Scelbi Mark 8H was the first system to really draw people's attention. By the time they figured out what might be done with it, the 8080's were released. The Altair was built, BillyG and friends wrote a basic interpreter in 4Kbytes, and the rest is history.

Ah, Busicom (1)

igb (28052) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849098)

I recall my father coming home from work (chemistry lecturer in higher education) and saying that he'd got access to calculators. A few weeks later I went over with him and played for a while on a Busicom, nixie tubes and all. This would be about 1972, I think, guessing from which building it was in.

Thanks (1)

dermoth666 (1019892) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849112)

Thanks for reminding me that I wasn't 8 when I started learning DOS (before the 486 era)! And then I haven't had a life until I met my wife a few years ago :)

Obligatory (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849346)

Opening on November 15th, the exhibit will feature a fully functional, 130x scale replica of the 4004 microprocessor running the very first software written for the 4004. To create a giant Busicom 141-PF calculator for the museum, 'digital archaeologists' first had to reverse-engineer the 4004 schematics and the Busicom software.

Well I, for one, welcome our gigantic calculator overlords. And remind them that as an internet personality, I could be useful in rounding up citizen's to slave away in their underground button-pushing dungeons.

Xilinx Spartan FPGA (1)

insignificant1 (872511) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849428)

How many IP Core equivalents of the 4004 would fit onto the Xilinx Spartan FPGA? Any guesses?

Just curious. Didn't see what type of Spartan it is, nor do I know the complexity of implementing the 4004.

Re:Xilinx Spartan FPGA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16849584)

I think a comparison between a CPU and an FPGA is not really possible. However the 4004 had about 2300 transistors while the Xilinx Spartan has up to 5,000,000 system gates and 74,880 logic cells.

They have released docs for single core 4004... (2, Funny)

Brane2 (608748) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849492)

... only to encourage sales of dual core 8008... ;o)

.

No shit they were right... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849564)

They've got a few Ken Starlings heading departments and a reportedly missing Federation Timeship Aeon sequestered under the buildings.

Janeway will be BACK: for the timeship, the deep-fried alien jerky, AND the KFC chickens. And, she'll pick up a few humons from the White House to supply the Vidiians, cuz she's in NO mood to donate organs today. Fixing the timeline is a byatch!

That's a lot of processors! (1)

joetheappleguy (865543) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849638)

Intel releases 4004 schematics? Man, that's a lot.

Oh, wait...

35 years (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849664)

35 years ago this was the best personal computer you could get. Now the same company is bringing us processors which can simulate the entire thing in an interpreted language using a fraction of one percent of the available processing power.

Even though another company would have done the same if Intel hadn't, they deserve some kudos for getting in there first and staying on top. No-one would have thought they'd be able to push x86 to where it is today.

Replica is very cool, but (1)

ballpoint (192660) | more than 7 years ago | (#16849746)

where are the blinkenlights ?

A custom DSBGA chip simulating a mosfet and including a driver for a tiny SMD LED could have shown the state of each individual gate.

Error 4004 (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#16850046)

A practical application cannot be found

The reason to buy this processor you were looking for might have had its name changed, or never existed.

-----------------

Please try the following:

* If you asked your boss to upgrade to this, make sure you you mentioned you're willing to give up your Christmas Bonus.
* Open the www.sex.com home page, & take a lunch break.
* Click the Back button & get back to work.
* Click the Search button to look for a new job.

Intel 4004 - Reason not found
The fucking boss.

RAM size (1)

Lex-Man82 (994679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16850162)

2 to the power 64 = 18446744073709551616

Which should be the number of memory addresses assuming that each memory address holds 8-bits.

Means that 18446744073709551616 / 1024 = 18014398509481984 kilobytes of memory

Then 18014398509481984 / 1024 = 17592186044416 megabytes of memory

Dividing this by 1024 leaves 17179869184 gigabytes of available RAM which seems unfeasibly large.

Re:RAM size (1)

Lex-Man82 (994679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16850174)

I meant to ask what is the theoretical maximum amount of RAM possible for a 64-bit processor?

Re:RAM size (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16850394)

17,179,869,184 gigabytes should be enough for anybody.
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